Skateboard Appliqué Tutorial

Skateboard Appliqué Quilting: Easy Appliquéing Tutorial with Rob Appell of Man Sewing. Rob demonstrates three methods for attaching appliqués to a quilt.

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Transcript (Downloadable PDF Here):

Hey everybody. It’s Rob over at Man Sewing. And I know you’ve already checked out the awesome pieced skateboard quilt I was able to do with Jenny Doan from MSQC. And I was showing off when I was there. And I made these really cool little applique skateboards and I’m going to teach you today how to make these. Now these ones are three dimensional so I could play with them. So you can see the grip tape on the top side and actually the design and the hardware on the bottom side. But I’m going to teach you how to do these as actually appliques today.


Now let me slide these just slightly out of the way because I want to run you through some of the supplies you’re going to need. Let’s start with the shiny objects today. Shiny objects: I’m using an 18 millimeter rotary cutter. I’m going to show you how to cut your appliques with that. I’m using some shiny little applique scissors, possibly for the small pieces. I’ve got a shiny stiletto. This is good for moving things around. Shiny tweezers. Those are good for moving and picking up those small pieces. Not so shiny sharpie. We’re going to probably use a big rotary cutter. And then the other thing we’ve got for you is the art department over at Man Sewing, thank you again guys, you’re awesome. Have made all of you free download templates. And so today as I’m designing this we’re going to start with a 15 inch board, but we also have a 12 inch board also.


So I want to talk a little bit about the boards and the grip tape before we roll into the hardware. Yes, pun intended. Ok, so with that, like I said, I’m going to use the 15 inch so I’m just going to set this on my light table. And then I’m going to show you the grip tape are two individual pieces. And these holes will be cut out. That’s what looks like where the screws came through the top of the board. Ok? And then we’ve got this hardware page and we’re going to come back to the hardware page and just talk about what we’re using each piece for. But I want to let you know that you can do this with all of your scraps and basically this is just a little stash burner. So I don’t have a supply list for fabric other than a pile of cool stuff. But I’m going to tell you what colors to be using as we work through the hardware page, ok?


So I’m just going to set this aside for a moment as well. As we get ready, all skaters look at the top of the deck first. Of course we buy our boards based on the design on the bottom but we’ve got to get our grip tape on first so that we can actually put the hardware through it. We’ve got to make the board before we can make the tape though.


So join me over here at my cool light table if you will. And what I’m going to do, the boards are made in two pieces so they fit on an 8 ½ by 11 printer sheet for you. Ok? So the first part I’m going to do is I’m going to make sure that I have at least 15 inches across my paper. And it’s 17 inch paper so I know that I do. And then I’m just going to simply trace the first portion, and what’s so funny here is you’re going to see how caffeinated the creativity is around here as my little hand get so shaky with these little markers. As I come up and around. Now there’s a dotted line that runs across. This is kind of the joining section. So I’m just going to do this but I’m going to remember that I’ve got to kind of put an X through it so I remind my, my brain that I don’t want to cut that line. Ok? That line is going to be where I join the second half. And I’m going to try to push this paper down a little bit so you can see through the light table. But if not I’m show you as it finishes off here. And now I’m just going to come up and do the rest of that board. Ooop. Do, do, daa, doo. Maybe I better lay off on the coffee before I keep trying to trace this stuff. My goodness. I love that, I love the coffee though. Ok, so now that I’ve got that cut out, I’m going to get ready to apply it to the back side of my fabric. The fusible I love to use is called Heat ‘N Bond feather light. Feather light is incredibly easy to quilt through because it’s so light weight. Very similar to the Wonder Under but it’s a solid layer of fuse instead of a spun bond fuse.


And so what we’re going to look at is two to three seconds with a dry iron. We’re not going to have any steam in our iron for this. And what I’m going to do is I’ve chosen a really cool piece of fabric that looks just like wood. So the top of the boards, often the wood or the lumber shows through that the board is made from. So I’m going to take that and I’m going to flip it over because fusible web. And I’m sorry I forgot to point this out too, didn’t I? When we’re tracing on fusible web, in case this is your first time, you trace on the paper side. The shiny glue sticky side is what’s going to be the bond for us. So we don’t to draw on that, that glue side. Now I’m going to go ahead and just set this here. And when I’m bonding my fuse for applique I kind of do a sliding motion, trying to get it, like I said, about two seconds of a dry iron. And each section as I go. One of the things I’ve learned is if you over-iron it, the paper will start to release early, and the paper is what makes it so easy to cut. Ok? And now, like I said, I cut all, a lot, I was going to say all the time, but  I cut most of the time with my 18 millimeter cutter. Now we’ve been taught a rotary cutter works this way, right? It’s an extension of our arm. Our wrist is locked. And we cut kind of out of our holster, right? We cut this way. But this small cutter is for applique is designed to be held like a pen, just like this. And so what I’m going to do is really stop looking at the camera. And I’m going to focus on what I am doing. I want to keep all my fingers on my left hand. I’m going to retract the cutter and I’m going to walk this bad boy in here and just start to go around. Now the benefits of cutting this way with a rotary cutter is you might be shaky when you trace,  but you can get a beautifully clean line when you cut. Oop, it looks like I…you do want to apply a little more pressure. It takes a little extra work or you’re going to get threads that are left behind. And of course the sharper the blade on any cutting tool, the better it’s going to work for you. These are so fun to do. And at the end I’ve got a couple of sample layouts I can show you as well. And of course I want you to be thinking right now while I’m teaching you how to put these all together, what you’re going to put yours on because I’m thinking hoodies would be cool. Maybe you’ve got a, a skateboard bag or a gear bag that you’d like to keep all your toys in. So you can make a gear bag with your skateboard on it. Anything like that would be really fun. Ok?


This is now cooled also while I was tracing that out. So the next step when you’re working with fusible web, doesn’t that look great? Is I’m just going to go ahead and peel the paper. And generally speaking the Heat ‘N Bond feather light peels really nicely. And I wanted to show you what would happen if it didn’t peel nicely and it looks like I’m going to get that opportunity. Ok, so here’s a trick. If you have a problem peeling the paper, you can always take a pin and do a score line with your straight pin. And that will fold and crease and break it open. Ok now that works with a lot of fusible web products. Don’t want to let go, though, as you come around. Keep ahold of that paper. You can also stick your tweezer on the end as well. You just don’t want to pick at the edge of the fabric too much because if you do, you’re going to kind of make it look frayed or ratty a little bit. And actually as I’m done doing all the cutting, I don’t think you need to see me cut all of the pieces with the rotary cutter. I’m going to rotate my board real quick so it makes it easier for us to all work, how’s that sound?


Ok, now we’ve got all set up for the assembly of our skateboard. And so I’m going to do the hardware here in a second. I’ve got that one all sewn on. Let’s just do the top one first. Now I am not going to press this down right this second. If I were to press it down and then press on the other parts, I might find that this starts to release. It’s such a fine glue that you really only get about one chance at pressing. And I have already prepared a bunch of the hardware pieces and the grip tape pieces and things so that you don’t have to watch me cut those and trace those all afternoon.


Now, with the grip tape, there are four holes in it. That’s where the hardware comes through. We talked about that a moment ago. So we’re going to need to cut that. And this is the tape for the nose. So I just, I’ve already cut that. And I’m going to set that down nice like that for you. And I mentioned that when I’m cutting my, or excuse me, when I’m picking my fabrics, I picked a wood looking fabric for the board. Look at that, that cool texture right there. That texture looks just like grip tape. Grip tape is often gray although it does come in other colors. And it’s got kind of that rough, it’s like sand paper if you actually haven’t been on a skateboard. And if you haven’t been on a skateboard, I apologize.  We need to spend some more time together. Now as you’re getting ready to cut those holes, this is one of the things, I know it sounds silly, you really want them to be as round as possible. So I fold them in half and I’m going to cut all the way around the outside. And I’m really rolling the whole fabric through so that I get a nice hole as I cut that. All the way around. Let’s do the other two. Ok, and the fourth one there. See how nice and round those look. That’s exactly what I want you to have, please. Ok. Now let’s get that grip on there. Usually the paper peels off that easy. Ta dah, ta dah, ta dah! Now this is technically almost all you need for the top of the board. The only other thing you’d see as you’re riding down the road is your wheels sticking out.


And so I’ve got these half wheels. Let’s bring you to the hardware. And like I said, we’re going to talk a little bit more about this in a second. This here is the entire wheel, right? This is what’s going to go on the bottom of the board. Like that. But I also make these half wheels because the half wheels, that’s what the dotted line is there for. The half wheel is going to stick out from underneath the board like yay. Those bolts hold on your trucks. The trucks are the part we call the hardware or where the axles are. And so with that you are going to want to line your wheels up in line with those holes. I’m just kind of rough placing these or we’ll call that dry fitting these real quick. And then I’m going to kind of eyeball down. The piece of fabric in the background is a 17 inch by 7 inch piece. And I’m going to eventually build a quilt with all of these different rectangles I’m making with the different skateboard designs, the different tops and the bottoms on them. So I’m also making sure I’m respecting my quarter inch seam allowance all the way around. And if you were really concerned, of course, you could always pull out your ruler and you could lay your ruler here to make sure you’ve got your quarter inch. But I’m also looking at my wheel set to make sure that my wheels look like they’re fairly lined up, right? So one of these needs to come in a bit. And this one needs to come out a bit. And now I’m really, really happy with my layout. Make sure you are happy with the layout and once you are, take your iron, and remember we were gliding earlier. And now we’re going to do the press and lift. Press and lift.  Alright? I shouldn’t tell you but everytime I teach that class, the press and lift, I think of that Reese Witherspoon teaching the lady that, in the Legally Blonde movie, where she knocks out the UPS guy with the bend and snap. You’re going to have to look that up if you don’t know about the bend and snap. Ok. So the press and lift. The reason we do the press and lift is the press and lift doesn’t make our pieces go missing. If you’re pieces ever go missing look on the bottom of the iron. They’re probably hiding there, ok? How easy is that?


The top of the board is totally ready to roll down the road, right?  Or head on over to the design wall. Let’s go ahead and do the bottoms of the board. The bottom of the board is technically my favorite because I like playing with the hardware. And I’m using three different colors of brown in the background. It’s just so the quilt’s going to look terrific when we’re all finished, right? You can do it however you like. But I am picking fabrics that look kind of like skateboard designs would. And I’m also choosing some brighter fun colors for the bottom because they’re going to have a lot of brown on the other squares, right?


Now with this, we kind of want to think our hardware was laying out about in these locations here. So let’s come back to the hardware page for a moment and really talk about what you’re looking at here. Now, on a skateboard, and this might even help us too. On the skateboard we have a couple of parts and pieces. Now this was the very original so this bottom part here we called base plate. And that base plate now, I think, is giving it a little more character. And we’ve rounded the edges. Those round edges point to the center of the board. And they’re usually kind of a darker gray, ok? This next part here is the axle that goes across and then you also have your bushings. The bushing are generally like a bright blue, a bright orange. Actually the different colors mean different hardnesses and the bushing is what allows the skateboard to bend and, and move properly. In your bushings, you also have a second piece to trace. That second piece to trace is going to look like that when it’s done. Also in a dark gray. And it’s the washer that goes underneath the hardware. I didn’t point it out, but you’ll notice that my axle looks a little rough. Well when we’re skateboarding we’re doing a lot of tricks on our axle so the axles get beat up quick. So that’s intentional that the base plate is a solid and the axle looks roughed up because it looks like I’ve been riding this deck down the road, right? The other thing you’re going to look for is you’re going to have these little shadows for your wheels. And then the wheels themselves are where you get your color and your energy out of them. I chose these wild, green wheels because when I was growing up as a skateboarder, the Kryptoes wheels were the cat’s meow. And they were this weird limey green. So anyways that was kind of a throwback to my, my original years as a skateboarder and doing the green Kryptoes. But your wheels can be any color. But it’s a great place for you to add color if you’re thinking about an all over quilt design.


I mentioned the wheels. On the bottom of the board we’re going to use our full wheel set or our full wheel here, there is looks like that. So you will not be using the dotted lines. So if you’re building these you’ve got what you need. You’ll have four of the shadows, you’ll have four of the wheels, two of the hex nuts, two of the washers, two of the bushings, two of the bases and two of the axles. Oh whew! That’s a breathful. Ok. I think you’ve got it. If not let me know in the comment section.


Ok, now with that, the first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to go ahead and take my base plate and I’m going to drop it down. Kind of thinking about where those wheels ended up on the other side. And remember the base plate has the rounded edge towards the center. And then generally from the bottom of the board, you have more tail than nose from behind your trucks. So let’s do it about like yay. The next thing I’m going to do is I’m going to set in the axles. And notice I’m just kind of using my tweezers for placement. The fine tuning I’ll use with little stiletto in a moment if I need to. Now I can drop on the bushing, the washer, the hex nut, which would be the top of the kingpin. Just while you’re learning parts and pieces names, right? Ok? And now we’re going to put in the wheels and the final step will be the shadow. Now funny enough, when I made these wheels, I made them to be fat and bold like that. But you most certainly can rotate them however you like. So let’s put these ones on as really big, long wheels. Oop, the fusible web is a little tacky, so that’s why I use the tweezers an awful lot because it will keep me from sticking everything to my hands here. But I looked at it and I go, oh that wheel, I didn’t cut it perfect so I think it has more character and fits the deck design really nice that way. That’s a personal opinion of course. Ok, shadow’s in next and we’re all but done. The shadows actually go under the axle and on the wheel and that’s what makes it look like you’re looking into the area where your bearings would be. See how much more dimension that gives that little area. Do, dah doo. Coffee’s got me again. And voila! Voila, voila!


Now at this moment, I’m going to be much wiser to start using my stiletto to move things around because I can poke at it and move and then use my tweezers here. And then I’m eyeballing it again. And I’m concerned, look at that, I’ve got this wheel sitting in my seam allowance. So I can now shift my whole deck. See how that kind of hung on together and just moved with me. Just moving it over. I’m going to scoot those wheels in a little. I do not want them to SLOSS at all in my seam allowance. Definitely good now. Ok, I’m going to adjust that one shadow. Adjust this shadow up here. And it’s ready to roll. What do you think? Isn’t that great?


Ok, now I’m pressing it down. Remember we’re doing our bend and snap or our press and lift. And then I’m going to work the iron up the middle. And then I’m going to hit all that hardware at the same time. And again. Just like that, ok? And now while that’s cooling. I’m lifting that up and moving it out of the way. While that’s cooling I have one thing I forgot to point out. And that is when I’m tracing all of my shapes, what I’ll often do is group all of my pieces. So I have that green fabric that I was using for my wheels and there’s the big wheels and there’s the half wheels. So I’m maximizing my scraps. So of course you’ll be thinking if you’re making a quilt, you’re going to be making lots and lots of boards so go ahead and make lots and lots of wheels all at once and lots and lots of axles. That’s what I’m trying to point out there. So we’ll set that aside.
And the final step is to show you how the quilt can come together. So I’ve got a couple other samples I’ve made for us. And here they are. Now, oh this is a really cool deck, look at this one. Isn’t that fun? And that also gives you a great place to bring in some more color as well with your quilt. So these pieces are 13 ½ inches by 7 inches. These are 7 inches by 17. And if you do the math with me, you’ll find out, once we do a quarter inch seam allowance, you will have, I’m cheating, right? Two 7 ½ or two 13, what am I trying to say? Two sevens sewn together make a 13 ½ so that’s the math I’m trying to teach you. And then what we’ll do is the next layer would go kind of like a brick wall. The opposite direction. And you’re going to make tops and bottoms of these boards on all different colors of fabric so that as you move these around, you can start to build up your quilt, right? But while I was playing with it, watch what happens if you put some crazy other sashing in between. I’m thinking like inch wide black or dark grey. Wouldn’t that look radical? Get some sashing in your blocks like that. You know, or this one would be over here kind of thing. So you can see what all these awesome potential layouts just great quilts in your future. You know but remember there’s hoodies, there’s bags, I could make an old retired skateboarder like myself a new apron wouldn’t be terrible. You know what I’m saying. And let’s not forget about the ladies. There are all kinds of radical chicks out there. I’m seeing them in the skate parks, and out surfing and stuff. The ladies are killing it on boards nowadays. So hats off to you, hey if I can sew, you can skate, right? And with that said, when you’re not in the skate parks for the next couple of weeks, we’ll be seeing you here at Man Sewing.

posted: Advanced Quilting Tutorials, Cutting | tagged: , , , , ,
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